wrestling / News

Matt Riddle On Why He Dislikes Goldberg, Whether WWE Is Angry At Him Over Tweets

June 16, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
NXT Matt Riddle, Chris Jericho

– Matt Riddle spoke with Talk Sport for a new interview about his slamming Goldberg after Super ShowDown, WWE’s reaction to his comments and more. Highlights are below:

On moving from from the independents to WWE: “For me, it was more of a step up in professionalism. Not so much the wrestling, per se, but more so how you handle yourself in and out of work and how you go to work, showing up, looking proper and things like that; well, you know me, I’ll just show up in some flip-flops and that, which, they still kind of let me do because it’s a part of my character. So, I still get away with a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t! I think it’s changed in that sense and I think if anything it has made me more professional and better at what I do.”

On WWE’s production aspects: “I was blown away. A couple of years ago at an Evolve show, it was Royal Rumble weekend and I went to a TakeOver and Shinsuke Nakamura came out. And I’ve seen him on TV but I was never impressed. I was like, yeah his moves are cool, but I just don’t get it. And then when I saw him in person and I saw the atmosphere that was created for him and what he did with it, I was like ‘holy crap, this dude is a star!’, my mind was blown. I’m doing the Nakamura thing now! [gestures like Nakamura’s hands]. But on the indies, you don’t really get that. You’re larger than the show but in WWE, the show is larger than you because it’s such a big production and there are so many moving pieces. And that’s why it’s so attention-getting.”

On if he ever has the itch to return to MMA: “I have no itch. I’m happy wrestling. One of the big things I hate about fighting – and I love fighting – is hurting people. And in MMA when you beat somebody they usually get fired, they get less money; it’s like I’m hurting people physically and financially and at the end of the day I didn’t want to do that. For me, I have no itch to go back to fighting. The only way I’d go back is if I could fight like Jon Jones for millions of dollars, but, other than that, there’s no reason. I don’t see how I win even if I win. If I win that fight, I don’t see how I benefit. I already fought in the UFC, killed it there, they fired me on a winning streak because I was too badass [smirks] and that’s about it.”

On ‘bro’ being over in WWE right away: “Even if they wanted to change the name, they had to just stick with the ‘bro’. Even if it wasn’t the Original Bro or King of Bros, they’d still be chanting ‘bro’. But I also think I’m connected with the people enough where if I wanted to change it and I was like ‘hey everybody, instead of the bro I’m the dude now’ …’Dude, dude, dude,’ I’m pretty sure the crowd would start chanting dude and saying dude. The bro thing was just easy and I say it a lot. It works, it’s a part of my character, demeanour – at least this version of bro. You know, there’s Zack Ryder but that’s a Jersey Shore ‘bro’. I’m more of a like ‘what up bro?’ – a laid back bro.”

On his issues with Goldberg: “The thing for me is, and one of the reasons I was never a fan of Goldberg in the beginning when everybody was like ‘oh, he’s so good!’ I was like ‘no, he’s terrible, he’s hurting people’ and there’s nothing else. He just has three-minute matches. And that was my thing and when people say ‘who was your favourite wrestler?’ I really don’t have one. I just liked really good wrestling. That’s why I fight and I do that. So for me, I don’t care how much money he makes, I’m just glad people were entertained. But, stick to your wheelhouse, bro. And stop headbutting doors before you wrestle. And I’m not hating – I’m not hating – I’m just spitting facts and these are all facts and things he should take into consideration. And not just for me, not because he got made fun of, but for his health as well.”

On Brock Lesnar: “I have a huge amount of respect for Lesnar [as opposed to Goldberg]. You know, he’s done everything since he came into it. He works hard. You don’t look like Lesnar without working hard. You don’t pick up things, get to the top of multiple industries and sports without working hard. Do I like his work, per se, and his attitude right now? No. But, I think that’s why it’s good [between them]. He’s the complete opposite of me, but we’re the same.”

On WWE’s reaction to his calling out top stars on Twitter: “Just like with the Goldberg stuff – I’m me. I let them know before I signed, because I had opportunities to go work other places and we were discussing and my thing was, I didn’t want to let them down. I’m going to tell you who I am, I’m very honest and even with [Matt] Bloom, we’ve gotten into it where I’m like ‘hey man, I think you’re disrespecting me’ and he’s like ‘what!’ and we get into it but then we’re better afterwards because I don’t hold anything back. I’m very honest. I’ll talk, and I’ll talk some sh*t, I’ll say some stuff. But, at the same time, it’s usually true, I back it up and I think they [WWE] respect that. I think if I was a bad worker and then I did everything that I do, they’d be like ‘hate this guy’. But, all the talents like Triple H and Shawn Michaels, they know I’m legit as hell and they love it. Same thing with [William] Regal and [Robbie] Brookside or anybody else, they all know.”

On working with legends like Triple H and HBK: “It’s just a confidence. That demeanour, what you do in between the moves and everything else. I think just having guys like have my back, or, when they do critique me and tell me something, it’s true and I need to work on it. Or I’ve been lazy about something, and it happens because you get comfortable. If the crowd are chanting ‘bro’ and you’re super over, why should I change anything, right? But sometimes you change something and now you got more fans, you’re getting even better. Plus, you want to make Vince [McMahon] happy! [laughs]. I’m trying!”